What to do if you may have been exposed to COVID-19 over the holidays

COVID-19 Outbreak Holiday Travel
Posted at 6:50 PM, Dec 27, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — So, you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, what's next?

With millions traveling and the omicron COVID variant spreading, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department advises those who've been around people outside of their household to get tested if they have any doubts about exposure.

Plans already in place, many families like Maris Blount's still decided to take the risk.

"For me, it's still important to be able to see family and visit family for me," said Blount. "So, I have not seen them since I've been away."

She plans to get tested again now that she's home, but is one of the many who wonder about possible exposure after the holidays.

According to the latest forecast from AAA, more than 109 million people were set to travel 50 miles or further for the end of year holidays.

So, what happens now as all those people return home.

"Everyone is concerned right now as they may or may not have been exposed," said Christina King, Communications Generalist for the Fayette County Health Department.

She says anytime you have concerns, you should get tested. However, the timing may be key.

If you gathered or traveled and are unvaccinated, health experts say you should absolutely get tested. Also, quarantine, stay away from people, and get a test three to five days after possible exposure. Getting tested now may be too early.

"The incubation period- you can come into contact with a virus, and it not necessarily settle into your system and register on a test for a few days," said King.

If you gathered or traveled but are fully vaccinated with no symptoms, the guidelines say you can go about your daily life without quarantining if you don't have symptoms. But you should monitor how you feel and wear a mask in public.

If you're vaccinated, asymptomatic, and test positive, the CDC now says you only need to isolate for five days. The agency attributed the change to evidence that the virus is most infectious two to three days after symptoms arise.